Women of the Ship Canal

I love being a bridgetender. Especially on the day I wrote this. (I usually write my entries several days in advance.)

Today, women controlled much of Seattle. It happens more often than most people realize. The transition is so smooth that it would be easy to overlook, but oh, yes, women rule.

You see, there is a man-made canal that runs through the center of town. That canal is crossed by 3 drawbridges operated by the City of Seattle, and then there’s a lock that lets ships out to Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean.

Today, women were operating all three of those bridges, and a woman was coordinating the crew that operates the locks as well. But never fear, Seattleites, we’ve got you covered.

It’s an awesome responsibility. Every day, millions of dollars’ worth of goods and services transit Seattle’s ship canal. If it didn’t exist, there would be a huge impact on the local economy. Not only do fishing vessels and barges pass through continually, but tour boats and sailboats ply these waters as well. This canal facilitates commerce as well as tourism.

Without the bridgetenders and the lock master, all of this would come to a grinding halt. And if the bridges aren’t properly operated, street traffic gets backed up for miles. People are late to work and school. Emergency vehicles are held up. The drawbridges and locks are the very heartbeat of this city. But on this day, it was women who kept this city’s heart beating.

So, yes, on days like today, I’m especially proud to do the work that I do. I’m even more proud that very few people even notice that there’s a difference. Because there really isn’t one. I want to live in a world where it’s normal to overlook these things, where gender isn’t an issue. That’s as it should be.

Ship Canal

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